Except for diehard Patriots fans, most folks consider Super Bowl XLII a winner, with a nail-biting finish, record ratings, a fine halftime show with Tom Petty (for all those Boomers) and mostly tasteful, entertaining commercials.
Nobody missed the Cialis or Levitra spots, which, thankfully, were absent.
Here’s a quick review of the ads, starting with the bad.
GoDaddy went with Indy driver Danica Patrick, who tried to coax voyeurs to the company site. Once there, the suckers were treated to a lame joke about a tree-chewing animal. Let’s hope that for Patrick’s sake, and the fans in the trackside seats, that she can drive better this year than how she navigates her career.
Victoria’s Secret ran a 30-second ad that was somewhat demure for them, although unjaded Advertising Age critic Bob Garfield still rightly called it “soft porn.”
The Secret babe was followed jarringly by a pitch for AMP energy drink with a hefty guy who hooks cables to his bare chest so that he can jumpstart a vehicle. The group I was with let out a collective “Eeeuuuwww!”
The group emitted another “Yechhhh!” when a woman’s heart literally leaped out of her chest in the CareerBuilder ad and started down the hallway while viewers were told that if they were unhappy at work, they should instead “follow their heart.” It might have worked if the woman had not been shown with a gaping hole in her body. There’s something to be said for using merely metaphorical imagery. At least the team that created this disgusting ad knows where to conduct their own job search.
A few ads got mixed reviews. These would include Fed-Ex’s giant pigeons terrorizing a city, Audi’s Godfather spoof, and Bridgestone Tires’ driver braking for screaming animals and (barely) a screaming Richard Simmons.
E*Trade had a talking baby with a man’s voice. You either loved him or hated him. The clown bending balloons behind the baby was creepy. Even the baby said so.
As usual, Budweiser scored with numerous funny ads, mostly for Bud Light, with guys doing slapstick or finding ways to smuggle bottles into girlie events like a wine and cheese party. The big winner for Anheuser-Busch, and the most popular ad in a USA Today poll, however, was the Clydesdale who is rejected for the Budweiser beer wagon team. A compassionate but tough Dalmatian trains the horse for the big time, all to the theme from Rocky. When the tryouts come next year …. Sorry. Got choked up there for a minute. Almost makes you want to go out and buy a Dalmatian.
Other winners cited in our unofficial survey as well as some official surveys were: